IBC 2017: Sony focuses show presence on new advanced media options, storytelling
Sony today revealed new solutions, technologies, and operational approaches to empower media companies to tell amazing stories, putting impactful storytelling at the forefront of media production. Visitors to stand 13.A10 will be able to explore new innovations in High Dynamic Range (HDR) that embody Sony’s ‘Beyond Definition’ vision, including Sony’s first full-frame digital motion picture camera – VENICE – in addition to advances in cloud, IP and archiving solutions.
“We’re fully committed to providing our customers with the best tools to deliver images that truly go ‘Beyond Definition’,” says Richard Scott, Head of Media Solutions, Sony Professional Solutions Europe. “Sony is unique in its ability to offer pioneering technology alongside a range of services and expertise, all accessible through an array of dynamic business models that help storytellers take their productions to the next level. We want to make sure our customers aren’t just keeping up with the leaps forward driven by technology, but that they’re very much at the forefront of business transformation, within the media production industry.”
Empowering Amazing Storytelling
Sony has a focus on continuously evolving the HDR capabilities within its media production solutions to help content creators produce incredible images. Sony offers HDR system solutions, workflows and the widest choice of recording formats that deliver unprecedented flexibility in every HDR production. The latest development is Sony’s SR Live for HDR workflow: a straightforward system that enables an efficient workflow for simultaneous live production of 4K HDR, HD HDR and HD SDR. The system is capable of delivering high-quality content with images produced using the S-Log3 format and converted into the desired broadcast and distribution formats such as PQ and HLG, using the HDRC-4000 HDR Production Converter Unit.
As the expanding need for HDR content continues, internet video platforms and professionals producing corporate or event content are paying more attention to the added value of HDR. They need to deliver content quickly, without compromising on imaging expression and quality of content. Sony offers Instant HDR Workflow supporting HLG recording function for easy and instant file-based workflows whilst achieving the quality of HDR. This simple workflow enables the shooting, editing and viewing of HDR content in HLG, without the need for additional color grading.
At IBC 2017, Sony is further enhancing its HDR capabilities to help empower storytellers.
These enhancements include:
HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) Live
This year at IBC, Sony is adding “HLG Live” mode which adds production and capture in Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG), to its “SR Live for HDR” workflow. It enables a straight forward HLG workflow, from shooting to delivery, whilst enjoying the benefits of SR Live workflow, which are to produce HDR/SDR, simultaneously. The final images created by the HLG Live mode, can deliver high quality HDR images; the same level as AIR (artistic intent rendering) matching HLG as it is delivered from the HDRC-4000 HDR Production Converter Unit. HLG Live mode is available from September 2017
PXW-Z450 V3.0 Enhances HDR Functionalities
The PXW-Z450 will support Instant HDR workflow. The updated version V3.0 firmware includes high-quality S-Log3 shooting and recording, ITU-R BT.2020 color gamut support, and a function for recording 4K HDR and HD SDR videos onto a single S×S card at the same time. HLG Live output is also supported. The update will be available in December 2017.
Three New Camcorders: XDCAM PXW-Z90, NXCAM HXR-NX80 and Handycam FDR-AX700
The new XDCAM PXW-Z90, NXCAM HXR-NX80 and Handycam FDR-AX700 all feature the new stunning Autofocus performance with 273-point phase detection AF sensor and 4K HDR recording. Equipped with 1.0-type stacked Exmor RS image sensor the camcorders offer an optimal choice to a wide range of users from professionals to video enthusiasts. All three camcorders support Instant HDR workflows enabling users to produce breath-taking HDR content with minimum post-production to suit a range of content creation scenarios and applications.
The three camcorders will be available later this year.
VENICE: Sony’s First Full-frame Digital Motion Picture Camera
Officially unveiled on September 6, VENICE is the next generation of Sony’s CineAlta camera system, designed to expand the filmmaker’s creative freedom through large-format, full- frame image capture of filmic imagery with natural skin tones and expressive dark areas. The camera combines a newly developed 36x24mm full-frame sensor and compatibility with a wide range of lenses, including anamorphic, Super 35mm and full-frame PL mount for a greater range of expressive freedom with shallow depth of field. A new color management system and wide color gamut gives users more control and greater freedom to work with images during grading and post-production. The camera has a built-in 8-stage glass ND filter system, enabling to reduce the replacement work of the external ND filter and makes shooting progress efficient. VENICE will be available in February, 2018.
UHC-8300, Sony’s first 8K System Camera with three 8K sensors
Sony unveiled the UHC-8300, its first 8K camera to include 1.25-inch three 8K sensors, opening up the world of 8K as well as 8K capturing technology for 4K production and more. Its 8K (7680 x 4320) 120p capturing format delivers well balanced high-resolution footage with a deep depth of field and wide dynamic range, making it suitable for HDR footage for both S-Log3 and Hybrid Log- Gamma (HLG) supporting ITU-R BT.2020 color space. It also supports IP connectivity. Real-time cut out from 8K picture to 4K image is possible and it can accommodate B4 mount 4K lenses with the B4 mount adaptor. The UHC-8300 offers the capability and the flexibility to capture content with the resolution and range for each production and is a leap forward in imaging technology. The UHC-8300 will be ready from October, 2017.
Enabling Advanced Media Operations
At IBC, Sony will be showcasing how it is helping customers drive efficiencies in IP Live Production, Cloud based systems and archiving solutions. Together, these advanced media operations can help broadcasters increase productivity, reduce costs, and grow their audiences.
Through the development of its virtualized media services, Sony has become a positive industry disrupter in advanced media operations; encompassing greater IT connectivity, IP infrastructure and cloud-based workflows. Sony’s applications and services significantly improve media operations and workflow, and by focusing on automation and speed, Sony is taking the cost out of its customer’s workflows to help media companies do more with less.
Sony has undertaken this in two ways: managing the migration from an SDI hardware based infrastructure to IP, and building applications and production platforms for cloud based systems that not only reside in the cloud, but some of which were built there.
IP Live Production System
Sony is continuing to invest in interoperability by introducing ‘SMPTE ST 2110 in HD’ compliant products. Sony has also become a principle member of the Advanced Media Workflow Association (AMWA), and has joined the board of directors. The below new developments will be available for visitors to explore at IBC 2017:
- A new Camera Control Unit (CCU) is under development The CCU will support SMPTE ST 2110 in HD with video, returns, audio and Intercom signals over IP. The new CCU will be compatible with the HDC and HSC camera series. The CCU is being developed with a target of being available from April 2018.
- The Sony XVS-8000, XVS-7000 and XVS-6000 4K/IP Ready video switchers sit at the heart of IP Live production operations and will support SMPTE ST 2110 in HD with a v2.6 firmware update which will be available in April, 2018.
- Cloud-based systems
The following cloud production platforms and applications will be showcased at IBC 2017:
- Media Backbone Hive is a production system ready for cloud will be one of the solutions on display at this year’s show. The flexible, scalable production platform streamlines media operations, allowing content to be delivered in multiple formats across multiple platforms whilst supporting remote collaboration on a global scale.
- XDCAM air, a cloud-based ENG subscription service is designed to reduce speed-to-air time, from shooting to post-production, harnessing the power of cloud computing and XDCAM. The XDCAM air service has just begun in the US, and in Europe, version 1.5 will be available in Winter 2017. Modular APIs are planned to allow flexible response to customers’ need to interoperate with third party vendors system. Sony will continue to develop new features and workflows with XDCAM air, planning to support content management, enhanced device control as well as NLE integration with future versions.
Media workflow and Archive Solutions
Sony will demonstrate the following innovations in archiving solutions at IBC 2017:
- Media Backbone NavigatorX delivers easier, quicker and more efficient asset and workflow management. Designed to suit multiple workflow environments, it allows users to manage assets in a range of formats, with flexible options for production, archiving and workflow automation. Three new functions have been added for IBC 2017;
- Storyboard enables users to trim assets by viewing the low-resolution proxy video clips, adding them to simple timeline and saved as assets with their own metadata. The storyboard asset can also be exported as edit decision lists (EDL) to non-linear editing (NLE) systems.
- Searching for assets across multiple Media Backbone NavigatorX systems is now enabled. Even for systems in remote locations, users can easily search for all assets at once and even preview the videos.
- The new workflow editing tool uses a simple drag and drop approach to create automated workflows. With no coding or scripting requirements, or a need for specialised IT skill sets, users can create a workflow, then test and deploy it within hours.
- Optical Disc Archive Generation 2 provides a secure long term archive based on Sony’s proven optical disc format, rated with a 100-year shelf life longevity and designed to achieve 3.3TB on a single cartridge. It provides the ideal format for active archive systems and final disaster recovery masters. More than 50 developers and vendors are currently using Sony’s Optical Disc; market adoption of Sony’s Optical Disc Archive technology has been steadily growing, with major broadcast stations in Japan and China recently having chosen Optical Disc Archive as their main archive system
Additional IBC 2017 Announcements
During IBC Sony will showcase a number of additional solutions on its stand, further demonstrating its Beyond Definition vision:
- New Generation of DWX series, Digital Wireless Microphone System The new generation, including the DWT-B03R – a small lightweight belt-pack transmitter which provides high sound quality with 1.2m low audio latency as well as 148MHz wideband operation, and the DWR-R03 – 1U wideband 2-channel rack-mount receiver which includes Dante interface for audio-over-IP networking, enhanced reliable operation by using a high dynamic range RF circuit and 4 diversity antenna operation. Also, new to the series is the BC-DWX1, a battery charger for DWT-B03R equipped with PoE (Power over Ethernet) capabilities & interlocking mechanism for easy storage and transportation. The new DWX series will be available in Spring 2018.
- Monitors’ firmware upgrade for the PVM-X550, PVM-A250/A170, LMD-A240/A220/A170. The upgrades will ensure the monitors support 4K and HDR production, adding higher dynamic range with high brightness mode to the PVM-X550 and wider colour gamut to the PVM-A/LMD-A series.
- The updates to the PVM-X550 4K OLED monitor optimise 4K colour grading, achieving over 180% in HDR Peak Luminance compared to the current version
The upgrade is available at the beginning of 2018.
- PVM-A series and LMD-A series provide a wider colour gamut for accurate colour reproduction for the constantly evolving demands in 4K, cinematography and graphics applications. The update supports the ITU-R BT.2020 colour space and accepts one of Quad-link 2SI 3G-SDI signals. It also offers DCI-P3, S-Gamut3 / S-Gamut3.cine and Adobe RGB settings to utilise its wide colour gamut alongside proper EOTFs such as 2.6 gamma alongside S-Log3 (SDR) and S-Log2 (SDR). The update is available in September, 2017.